Dow Jones Leads The Pack As Banks, Oil Stocks Rise

Stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average rushed ahead late Friday morning, leaving the Nasdaq behind. Bank stocks and oil stocks were doing especially well. The Nasdaq 100 has no exposure to either banks or oil stocks, which at least partly accounted for its lagging price action.




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The Dow Jones built a 1.4% gain, while the Nasdaq rose only 0.3%. Large caps as reflected in the S&P 500 advanced 0.8%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 gained 1.3%.

Volume in the stock market today was running higher on both major exchanges compared with the same time Thursday. Today is an options expiration day, which tends to boost volume.

In the Dow, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) jumped 2.8% and 2.7%, respectively. Both stocks are held by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA).

Warren Buffett’s Q4 Stock Buys

Berkshire’s latest 13-F filing for the fourth quarter showed additional buys of JPMorgan, Bank of America (BAC), US Bancorp[ticker symb=USB], Bank of New York Mellon (BK) and PNC Financial (PNC).

Berkshire also cut its exposure to Apple (AAPL) and some airlines.

Oil Stocks

In the oil patch, West Texas intermediate crude oil climbed almost 1% to $55.35 a barrel. Light sweet crude is headed toward a 5% gain for the week. Since Christmas, the price of crude oil has jumped 30%.

U.S. explorer and producer Continental Resources (CLR) tacked on about 3% in quiet volume. Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) rose 3.7% as it headed for a fifth consecutive up day. Volume was below average. Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) advanced 2.5% in strong volume.

Strong Action

Breakouts Friday included accounting software designer BlackLine (BL), which stabbed 3% higher in strong volume. BlackLine’s breakout was confident-looking. BlackLine was featured in IBD’s Stock Spotlight on Jan. 22. At that time, IBD noted that BlackLine’s turnaround looked solid. BlackLine is an October 2016 IPO.

Other stocks Friday were dancing just above or around the buy point. They included Microsoft (MSFT) and Walmart (WMT).

News Shrugged Off

News had little impact Friday morning. President Donald Trump tweeted about 20 hours ago that he would sign the government funding bill and then declare a national emergency to get funds for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. If so, a legal battle is likely.

Two days of trade talks involving the U.S. and China concluded with no breakthrough.

On Monday, the stock market will be closed for Presidents Day.

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